POTD: U.S. Air Force Special Operators in the Swedish Arctic

Eric B
by Eric B

Winter is coming in this Photo Of The Day, and I’m sure the making of these photos – in the little sunlight given each day – took a lot of freezing. We see Air Force Special Operators from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, as they learn how to survive and fight at the Swedish Subarctic Warfare Center in Grubbnäsudden. The location is near Sweden’s northern border with Finland and a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle.

Below: Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron engage targets during an ambush exercise in Grubbnäsudden, Sweden.

US Air Force special operators are considered pretty though with a 2 year training pipeline washing out 70-80% of the candidates. But the two week winter training in the Swedish north back in January 2022, with deep snow and cold temperatures made them a bit more humble.

“Just moving from point A to point B in this environment is so much more complicated than anything we’ve done before,” Kvale said. “Here we conducted ambushes with rockets and machine guns, things we’ve been doing for years, but just because of the environment it became much more complicated.”

Mission: conquer the cold in Sweden.

For more information read the full article in Task & Purpose.

Photos and captions: Phil Speck / U.S. Air National Guard

Eric B
Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6x6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.

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  • BeoBear BeoBear on Jan 04, 2023

    Seems like some white beanies might have been included in the winter warfare load out.

  • CountryBoy CountryBoy on Jan 05, 2023

    WHY aren't their "black" guns in camo..... they stand out like a sore thumb.